Mindfulness can seem like a “buzz word” or a hot topic with no real, clear definition… So let's start by defining what we mean when we say mindfulness!
Mindfulness - being present, and aware of the current moment and any decisions you make during that time. Doing so from a calm state of mind; being in tune with what you are thinking, feeling, and wanting in that moment.
Mindfulness doesn’t have to be exclusive to yoga or meditation (in fact, we could argue it definitely shouldn’t be!) but the skill can definitely be honed that way. We focus specifically on mindfulness when it comes to eating and food choices because, well, it’s just what we do… but it is a skill that will serve every aspect of your life!
Mindful eating can look like a few different things:
Pausing before you reach for a snack or meal and asking yourself “am I really hungry right now? Or is it just my habit to grab something to eat at this time?” or “what am I actually hungry for right now?” free of self-judgment or perceived judgment from others.
Taking a few deep breaths, drinking a glass of water and re-assessing if you are hungry/thirsty or maybe feeling stressed/overwhelmed and seeking comfort or distraction.
Preparing a meal or snack that is exactly what your body is telling you it needs. Maybe it’s pizza, and maybe it’s salad- either or both are totally FINE!!
“Diets” fail because they are restrictive and robotic- they don’t allow for us to question ourselves and our bodies and they don’t give us the chance to honor those wants and needs. If we could slow down, reflect inwards for a moment, and respond intentionally (with food, words, actions) we would have a deeper connection to self and our relationship with food.
If you’re looking to start being more mindful and intentional every day, start small and build. Before you get out of bed, just lay there for a second and ask yourself “how am I feeling today?” and whatever the answer, it’s OK. When you get dressed for the day, allow yourself to pick something that makes you smile and feel good. When you go to make a drink or something to eat, stop for a second and ask yourself if you’re really hungry and if so, what sounds good? Go for a walk after work and just let your mind wander! Tuning in to your inner dialogue and building trust with yourself will honor you in every aspect of your life.